The following joint statement was issued today by Stupid Cancer's Board of Directors and co-signed by Bright Spot Network, Cactus Cancer Society, Cervivor, Elephants and Tea, Escape, Family Reach, Fuck Cancer, Imerman Angels, Living Beyond Breast Cancer, Teen Cancer America, True North Treks, and The Ulman Foundation.
Stupid Cancer and its Board of Directors is committed to the empowerment of people affected by adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer. As patient advocacy organizations serving AYA patients, we join the medical community in fully renouncing any efforts to limit or remove access to safe abortion care. Abortion is a safe and essential healthcare right. Patients with cancer may face many difficult choices in their treatment journey. Patients who learn of a cancer diagnosis during pregnancy often must choose between continuing pregnancy (delaying essential life-saving treatments) and termination of pregnancy. Surgeries or medical treatment for cancer that could also result in loss of pregnancy would be considered abortion under certain state laws. This threatens the patient’s ability to receive cancer care in a timely fashion. Additionally, the continued interference of state legislatures into individuals’ personal healthcare decisions undermines the principles of the patient-physician relationship. These decisions are personal and should be made by patients in discussion with their medical team and not limited by legal consideration.
Changes occurring in state laws (Texas SB8, Oklahoma HB4327) and the recent ruling of the Supreme Court of the United States regarding Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization raise grave concerns regarding access to abortion care in this country. Multiple leading medical organizations including American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG)1, Society for Gynecologic Oncology (SGO)2, American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM)3, North American Society of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology (NASPAG) and Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM) have denounced the opinions of this ruling. Given trigger laws in effect in at least 25 states, swift and immediate loss of abortion access is expected. A joint statement from NASPAG/SAHM4 outlines how these changes would affect adolescent and young adult (AYA) patients in particular.
AYA patients undergoing cancer care often consider options for preserving their fertility prior to cancer therapies, including freezing embryos. Given the confusion and misconceptions that anti-abortion legislation has caused and more recent bans starting with fertilization, we also have grave concerns that these laws and those that follow will limit the ability of patients to access fertility preservation techniques and have control over reproductive decision making of their stored tissue in the future. Finally, given misconceptions about the mechanisms of actions of many of the most effective contraceptive methods (including emergency contraceptives), we have serious concerns about the potential for limitations on AYA patients' access to the best form of contraception for them.
We, the undersigned, are patient advocacy nonprofit organizations supporting AYA patients and their loved ones. We remain committed to advocating for the AYA community to have resources to navigate treatment and survivorship on their own terms, inclusive of access to abortion care.
Stupid Cancer, Inc.
Bright Spot Network
Cactus Cancer Society
Elephants and Tea
Living Beyond Breast Cancer
Teen Cancer America
True North Treks
The Ulman Foundation
 American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. (2022, May 2) ACOG Statement on Reports of a Draft Opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson [Press Release]. Retrieved from https://www.acog.org/news/news-releases/2022/05/acog-statement-on-reports-of-a-draft-opinion-in-dobbs-v-jackson
 Society for Gynecologic Oncology. (2022, May 4) SGO Commits to Policy Action and Advocacy in Defense of Reproductive Rights. [Press Release]. Retrieved from https://www.sgo.org/news/sgo-commits-to-policy-action-and-advocacy-in-defense-of-reproductive-rights/
 American Society of Reproductive Medicine. (2022, May 3) ASRM Issues Statement Regarding Roe v. Wade and Its Possible Implications on Access to Reproductive Care. [Press Release} Retrieved from https://www.asrm.org/news-and-publications/news-and-research/press-releases-and-bulletins/asrm-issues-statement-regarding-roe-v.-wade-and-its-possible-implications-on-access-to-reproductive-care/
 North American Society of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology and Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. (2022, May 17). SAHM/NASPAG Statement on Leaked Draft SCOTUS Opinion Regarding Mississippi v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization [Press Release]. Retrieved from https://naspag.memberclicks.net/assets/docs/SAHM%20NASPAG%20Statement%202022.05.17.pdf
About Stupid Cancer:
Stupid Cancer's mission is to help empower everyone in the adolescent and young adult (AYA) community by ending isolation and building community.